Celebrate the season with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Holidays in Westlake Park, 2014, photo by TIA International Photography

Holidays in Westlake Park, 2014, photo by TIA International Photography

The holiday season seems to sneak up on us and then it’s over before we know it. There are so many activities and things to be done; it can be hard to keep track of them all. We’ve created a one-stop guide to all of our festive happenings. Find gingerbread decorating for the kids, take advantage of low-cost childcare options, discover where to buy local, unique presents and locate a drop-off spot for gift donations.

The holidays can be stressful when you’re going it alone. Luckily, you have us. [Read more…]

Pathway of Lights glows across generations

Luminaries line Green Lake

Luminaries line Green Lake

The city is dark. The air is cold. But Green Lake Park is aglow.pathway of lights 2015

Since the 1980s, on the second Saturday of December, neighbors, families and tourists have celebrated the Pathway of Lights.

The idea was brought to Green Lake Community Center by a woman who was inspired after seeing a similar event on a trip to the southwestern U.S. The named was coined through a community contest.

In its inaugural year, luminaries encircled only the community center and the event was marked with horse-drawn hayrides. Throughout the years the event continued to expand. While guests used to light the luminaries by passing candles to one other, large community groups are now needed to help with set up. Local performers and artists are stationed around the lake to entertain walkers. [Read more…]

Give thanks with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Thanksgiving is coming. Leave the cooking to us.

Thanksgiving is coming. Leave the cooking to us.

November is upon us, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re reflecting on all of the things we’re thankful for this year.

  1. We work in a diverse city with lush forests, sandy beaches, endless hiking trails, swimming holes, recreational opportunities and vibrant communities.
  2. We were able to fund new programs for special populations this year. Using 2015 ramp-up funding for the Seattle Park District, we were able to expand dementia-friendly recreation programming and add an extra week of Specialized Programs summer camp to our offerings. We hope to continue expanding programs for underserved communities.
  3. The National Wildlife Federation named Seattle the sixth friendliest city for wildlife in the country.
  4. Volunteers donated nearly 13,000 hours of their time to Seattle parks in April during Earth Month work parties. These volunteers and the community members they inspire represent the current and future generation of environmental leaders, and we’re so thankful for all they do.
  5. We welcomed Jesús Aguirre as our new superintendent.

[Read more…]

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree makes special appearance in Lake Union Park on Nov. 7

For more than 50 years, a tree has graced the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. The Chugach National Forest, in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors, will bring this special tree from Alaska to Washington, D.C. for the 2015 season, involving more than 10 communities along the way, including an appearance at Seattle’s Lake Union Park near the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. – noon.

The tree will be cut on Oct. 27 near Seward, Alaska and prepared for the 4,000-mile expedition. With great fanfare, the tree will leave the Chugach National Forest followed by a caravan of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol. Fifteen community celebrations are being planned throughout the tour, culminating with the official tree lighting in early December. [Read more…]

Imagination Foundation presents ‘2015 Cardboard Challenge’ at Bell Street Park

Kids participate in a 'Cardboard Challenge'

Kids participate in a ‘Cardboard Challenge’

When you’re little, a refrigerator box isn’t just packing material; it’s a castle, cave or new car. From noon-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, the Imagination Foundation is sponsoring the 2015 Cardboard Challenge featuring the movie “Boxtrolls” at Bell Street Park. Children are invited to create cardboard creations and take part in other activities from noon-6 p.m. The outdoor movie starts at 6:30 p.m.

Seattle’s Cardboard Challenge is about encouraging the people of all ages to come together and foster creativity in children. Children are encouraged to build things from their imagination, to be doers, to explore interests and passions, to learn how to be resourceful and persevere and to see every day recyclable objects in new ways.  [Read more…]

Your Fall Bucket List

Cheers with us
Raise a glass to conservation and animals! Join Woodland Park Zoo for the fifth annual Brew and the Zoo beer-tasting event on Thursday, Oct. 1. Sample imports, domestics, microbrews and ciders from more than 40 different breweries. The event includes tastings, live animal encounters, music and access to some award-winning exhibits. Tickets range from $30-70. For more information, go here. (This event is for the 21+ crowd only.)

Maple Viewing at the Seattle Japanese Garden

Maple Viewing at the Seattle Japanese Garden

Marvel with us
In October the Seattle Japanese Garden is ablaze with fall color. Visit on Sunday, Oct. 11, during the official Maple Viewing Festival, or take a tour any time this fall to feast your eyes on reds, oranges and golds. The Maple Viewing Festival includes traditional musical performances and other activities and runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Send us your best fall-esque photos on Twitter and we’ll throw you a retweet. For more information, including garden hours and location, go here. [Read more…]

Seniors admitted free to Seattle Japanese Garden on Respect for Elders Day

Seattle Japanese Garden

Seattle Japanese Garden will offer free admission to seniors on Sept. 14, 2015.

The Seattle Japanese Garden will celebrate Respect for Elders Day on Monday, Sept.14, 2015. In honor of this Japanese holiday, seniors age 65 and older will receive free admission to the garden from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Complimentary guided tours will be available starting at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. on that day. All visitors are welcome to stop by the Tateuchi Community Room to enjoy complimentary iced tea, as well as an art exhibit of beautiful line drawings depicting scenes from the Japanese Garden by artist Vincent Samudovsky.

The Seattle Japanese Garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E. For driving directions and detailed information about the garden, please visit www.seattlejapanesegarden.org.

Get healthy with us

It’s a walk in the park

Get-Out-and-Walk-InfographicStarting a new fitness routine can be intimidating, that’s why we’re recommending that you start this one step at a time – literally. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recently released a video encouraging people to walk more.

According to the NRPA, one-third of the adults in the United States are overweight, and less than 50 percent of adults get their needed amount of recommended weekly exercise.  Walking just 30 minutes each day has long-term benefits. It can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, depression and some cancers and can lower blood pressure and sugar levels.

So let’s get started. Seattle Parks and Recreation has 120 miles of developed and semi-developed trails scattered through beautiful forests, beaches and meadows. Take a look at the list here and pick a walk for yourself this weekend. If you want something more urban, do some laps at Green Lake Park or Maple Leaf Reservoir Park or walk along the water at Lake Union.

With 400+ parks in our area, there’s no reason not to get moving! Grab your tennis shoes and get healthier.

September 5 community invited to celebrate expansion of Hing Hay Park


Hing Hay Park is the premier gathering space in the Chinatown-International District.  Hing Hay literally means “pleasurable gatherings.” On Saturday, September 5 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., the community is invited to celebrate Hing Hay Park at 423 Maynard Ave. S. before construction begins for the park expansion in the fall.

The celebration marks the upcoming construction of the Hing Hay Park expansion and the closing weekend of the Bruce Lee Year 1 exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (The Wing), which will be open until 8 p.m. that night. The celebration starts with plenty of activities for families to enjoy.  The event features displays of the new Hing Hay Park expansion, historic photographs of the park, children’s activities including paper lantern making, coloring, face painting and dragon hand tattoos, table tennis and chess. All will be treated to a Bruce Lee movie entitled  “Enter the Dragon “ at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.). [Read more…]